A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What Is It With the Jews?

Why do people hate them so much? Honestly, I just don't get it. I understand that religion can be divisive, and the more fanatically held the belief, the more likely it is to engender atrocities, death and murder, but why have the Jews been such a target of other religions? Especially given that Judaism is the root of both Christianity and Islam.

I suspect they've just always been an easy target for those seeking a scapegoat on which to fix the public's wrath. Certainly that's part of it. But the amount of anti-semitic propaganda throughout history-- the vileness and nearly constant presence of it-- is really quite startling. And disturbing.

Recently I suppose some of the vitroil is a byproduct of Israel's strong ties to the U.S.-- two for one! Hate the zionist pigs and the western capitalist devils all at the same time!-- but still I find it puzzling how many people feel sympathy for the Palestinians and nothing but antipathy for the Israelites.

For example, check out the letters the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published yesterday in their "Your Opinion" section. Five letters and every single one of them condemns the Israeli response to some degree. Only one of the five even mentions that the conflict was started (in a relative sense-- in reality the conflict has been going on for centuries) by Hezbollah terrorists capturing Israeli soldiers during an illegal raid into Israel. Not one of them mentions the near constant barrage of rockets being launched from Lebanon into Northern Israel-- with absolutely no regard for who or what the rockets strike.

There are two main reasons the death toll is higher on the Palestinian side than the Israeli side. 1) The Palestinians mostly live in sqalor, victims of their despotic and terrorist sponored governments, and are much more vulnerable to fire, explosions and disruptions of their infrastructure because everything is old and poorly maintained where it exists at all. 2) The Palestinians have absolutely no idea what they are shooting at, quite often lobbing their rockets into areas without any people or buildings to hit. Of course, sometimes they kill their fellow arabs, as well, but we don't hear about that.

And if the skew of the opinion letters the Journal Sentinel elects to print isn't bad enough, there's always the article from the L.A. Times they choose to run on the front page. The article contains extensive and detailed descriptions of the horrors being suffered by the Lebanese because of Israeli attacks, but mentions the rocket attacks of Hezbollah on Israel in one, dismissive sentence:
Tens of thousands of Israelis also have fled their homes, to escape Hezbollah rocket attacks, but they have not suffered the food, water and medical shortages facing the Lebanese.
Because their country isn't dirt poor and run by Syrian thugs. But that is no doubt Israel's fault as well. Another curious line in the L.A. Times piece:
The most harrowing reports emerged from the Hezbollah-dominated southern region closest to the Israeli border, where residents have been trapped in bomb shelters and basements for nearly a week while earth-shaking battles raged outside.
Likely true enough, but strange that the article doesn't mention almost the exact same harrowing conditions in the cities of northern Israel. To wit, this description from the Jerusalem Post:
Nahariya Mayor Jackie Sabag said the whole town has shut down, with businesses closed. Sabag urged all residents to comply with army orders to stay in underground shelters. All soldiers serving in Northern Command Headquarters in Safed also went down to shelters due to Katyusha attacks.
Well, the hyperbole is lacking, but you get the idea. Apparently the fact that the Lebanese are suffering more because their country is a mess and the crazed militants that are allowed to roam freely there have abducted two soldiers from a neighboring country is completely beside the point.


Another reason that casualties are higher on the Palestinian and Lebanese side is that the terrorists hide their equipment, command and control structure, and personnel amongst the civilian population. With regard to the Palestinians, children and adolescents are often around the terrorists as they prepare for, or engage in, action with the Israelis. Currently in Lebanon, Hezbollah has been reported to be blocking civilians from leaving the dangerous southern region of the country.

The terrorists are violating the basic laws of war. Those involved in the fighting are supposed to distinguish themselves from the civilian population at all times (or, at the very least, when preparing for and engaging in military operations), and items used for military purposes are to be distinguished from civilian objects. Further, hostile action is only supposed to be levied against military targets and objectives.

Something that is often over-looked by the press, however, is that the presence civilians or civilian objects does not offer hostiles protection from attack, especially when the civilian presence is being used as a shield for valid military objectives. In such situations, the forces which have embedded themselves amongst the civilian population or infrastructure are responsible for any harm which comes to that civilian population and infrastructure.

The terrorists target civilians intentionally. The Israelis target the terrorists who are intentionally amongst civilians. There is a big difference, but in each case the terrorists are the ones responsible for civilians killed or harmed by the violence.

If the peace loving people of Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank would like to decrease civilian casualties, they may want to consider asking the terrorists to hide their weapons, leaders, and people in places other than civilian areas. If someone just sat down and spoke with Hamas, Hezbollah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, the Palestine Liberation Front, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the Islamic Jihad, and any of the other organizations fighting for the freedom of the poor, oppressed people of the region, explaining the danger that they are all putting the poor, oppressed people of the region in, then I'm sure that those heroic, freedom fighters would gladly change their methods of operation for the safety of the very people they claim to be fighting for.

Or maybe, just maybe, if the poor, oppressed people of the region spoke that openly to the "militants" amongst them, they may get the same response from the "militants" as the Israelis do every time they sit down to talk peacefully: A smile, an agreement, and a bullet in the back.

I'm still holding a grudge from 23 October 1983, so I really couldn't care less what Israel does to Hezbollah and anyone who attempts to defend them (such as the Lebanese army, as has been suggested by the Lebanese defense minister). And since Hamas seems to like to buddy-buddy up to Hezbollah, I'll extend them the same lack of concern. The terrorists only seem to understand violence, so I say give it to them in spades and without pity.
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